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NuScale, Fluor nuclear SMR pilot project plan gains $1.3B boost from DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded up to $1.3 billion in funding to help move an Idaho small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) project closer to reality.

DOE awarded the Carbon-Free Project, which will include wholesale energy provider Utah Associated Municipal Systems (UAMPS), to develop NuScale Power’s first prospective SMR site. NuScale recently received final U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff approval for its SMR design.

The company is partnering with engineering, procurement and construction firm Fluor Corp. on the UAMPS pilot. The 720-MW plant will utilize 12 NuScale SMRs, which offer a smaller footprint and lower cost structure than conventional large nuclear power plants.

“Together with the U.S. NRC’s staff’s recent approval of NuScale’s design, this potential funding from DOE and Congress will help launch an important new sustainable, carbon-free base load energy technology,” said Carlos Hernandez, CEO of Fluor. “The active engagement and support for new carbon-free technology by the U.S. Congress and Administration helps to further advance this safe and cost effective new energy project.”

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Fluor and NuScale’s global footprint and expertise will be utilized in other countries desiring carbon-free baseload energy. Other potential projects involve stakeholders in the United Kingdom, Canada, central and eastern Europe, southeast and central Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Over the past two years, NuScale has initiated memoranda of understanding with several domestic and international entities to explore the potential deployment of NuScale carbon-free small modular reactor power plants.

“Fluor has been actively engaged with potential investors in NuScale, and the recent enabling milestones have significantly increased the number of interested parties,” said Fluor CEO Hernandez.

Fluor has more than 70 years of experience in the EPC and design support of the nuclear industry, including more than 25 power plants worldwide.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the virtual POWERGEN+ series. NuScale and TerraPower will be panelists in a November 9 session on “The Future of Small Modular Reactors” in POWERGEN+. The event is free to register.)